These are two paradoxically opposite bikes, yet monster and cyclocross bikes are often confused. Let’s see why they are intended for two very distant cyclists and why an expert would always distinguish them.
What is a monster bike
A monster bike is an aggressive evolution of gravel bikes. It is aggressive because it is a gravel bike designed for harder, more technical routes that test the bike’s resistance. The monster bike gives the nod to the mountain bike. But the soul of the monster bike is always the journey. The basic idea remains the long-distance routes.
What is a cyclocross
Many people wrongly think that a cyclocross bike is the ancestor of the gravel bike. It is not so. The cyclocross bike is an off-road racing bike expressly designed and built for racing. We are speaking about short races approximately 1 hour long. And this data alone should make it clear how the idea of a monster bike is totally at the antipodes of a cyclocross.
Monster bike versus cyclocross, bike fitting compared.
Once the intended use of the bikes has been explained, it will be easy to understand how the geometries of a monster bike will be relaxed, with a nod to comfort. In our case, with our Annibale we also focused on a more inclined vertical tube to give the bike more traction uphill. Cyclocross, on the other hand, has to be snappy.
The cyclist’s position on the cyclocross is very advanced, uncomfortable but performing.
Which one to choose
Having read up to here, the decision should be clear. A monster bike represents cycle touring. A more technical cycle touring, but always far from competitions. Cyclocross is a pure racing bike.
Can you participate in cyclocross races with a monster bike?
Besides the clear performance disadvantage of using a heavier and bulkier bike on tight cyclocross courses, it is not allowed to race with a monster bike by regulation. Cyclocross bikes are limited to mounting tires no wider than 33mm.